The Difference Between 3D Printing and CNC Machining


With advances in additive manufacturing technology and increasing complexity in today’s engineered products, manufacturers are increasingly having to decide whether to replace CNC machines with 3D printers. The two production technologies each have various benefits and drawbacks, and this article aims to illustrate those idiosyncrasies and identify the applications which best benefit from one or the other.

What you’ll learn:

  • unique design considerations required for each technology.

  • How the two technologies differ in terms of manufacturing tolerances.

  • Which materials work best with which approach.

  • How 3D printing compares to CNC machining in part cost and work environment impact.

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